The security budget for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games is expected to exceed £90M ($146M), according to the Scotland DAILY RECORD. A total of £27.2M ($44.2M) had been set aside for security costs at the "massive sporting event." Commonwealth Games Minister Shona Robison, however, announced this was being increased to £90M, with "the Scottish Government contributing an additional £37.7M ($61.2M) toward this." Additionally, just more than £25M ($40.6M) from the Games contingency fund "will be used to help make up the increased budget." Robison said: "I am certain this is the right step to take at this stage if we are to continue to have confidence in our ability to deliver a safe and secure Games for everyone to enjoy." The security budget is being increased after ministers asked Police Service of Scotland Chief Constable Stephen House to "take primary responsibility for Games security" (DAILY RECORD, 12/18).
SECURING THE SITE: The BBC reported the extra cash "will be spent on securing the Athletes' Village, hotels and training venues, and providing additional CCTV and perimeter fencing." The Athletes' Village "will be secured for six months before the Games begin, and provisions will be put in place to provide round-the-clock security at some hotels and training venues." Robison said a "detailed security review" had taken place following a "comprehensive observation programme at London 2012." Robison: "London 2012 highlighted the risk of having a single company providing private security, so the organising committee, in collaboration with the police, has split the private security tender for 2014 into multiple contracts" (BBC, 12/18).
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY: STV reported House will take "full responsibility" for the budget to oversee policing and security of the event. House: "This is a welcome development that ensures clear lines of accountability and enables a properly integrated approach to planning and delivery." G4S, which was hired to provide security for the London Games, "could be among those that submits bids" for Glasgow 2014 contracts. (STV, 12/18).
Arsenal's Boxing Day match against West Ham is "likely to be called off" due to the threat of a London Underground strike, according to Simon Head of the London MIRROR. London Underground drivers "are to stage three strikes in a row over Bank Holiday pay," with the first scheduled for Dec. 26. The move by members of the union ASLEF "threatens travel chaos" in London and has called into question whether games will go ahead as planned. The game is expected to be rescheduled for either Jan. 23 or 26 (MIRROR, 12/18). In London, Simon Rice reported there are two other Premier League matches taking place in the capital on Boxing Day -- Fulham plays Southampton and Queens Park Rangers host West Brom. However, those two games "do not appear under threat" with QPR stating its match is "definitely going ahead" and Fulham saying that it has no plans to cancel its game. Other matches in London on Boxing Day include Charlton, Leyton Orient, AFC Wimbledon and Dagenham and Redbridge. They all expect to see their matches "go ahead despite the industrial action" (INDEPENDENT, 12/18).
The Board of Control for Cricket in India "shot down" Bharatiya Janata Party's demand of cancelling the Indo-Pak limited-overs cricket series in the wake of visiting Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik insulting India, insisting that the matches would be held as scheduled," according to the PTI. Senior BCCI official & Indian Premier League Chair Rajiv Shukla said, "There is no question of calling off the tour. All the arrangements have been made and the tour was planned much earlier. Politics should not be mixed with sports and the tour will go on." Malik "triggered controversy by equating 26/11 Mumbai attack with Babri Masjid demolition and describing LeT terrorist Abu Jundal as an operative of Indian intelligence agency." New Delhi has "rubbished Malik's assertions." India is scheduled to "play two Twenty20s and three one-dayers against Pakistan" starting Tuesday (PTI, 12/18).
Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business will offer a new executive certificate titled The Global Business of Sports. This three-day program will run Jan. 22-24 and will teach participants how to apply int'l business practices to the landscape of sports. Participants will learn strategic frameworks to better understand the scope of industry, from techniques for gauging the marketplace and crafting brand-building plans, to customer engagement, measurement and retention (Georgetown University). ... National snowboard U-site championship will kick off on Jan. 7 in Zhalantun, northeast city of Inner Mongolia. The three-day event "attracts many teams to compete in Jinlong mountain ski resort, including Xinjiang, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning and so on" (XINHUA, 12/18). ... The Queensland Open will return to the PGA Tour of Australasia schedule in '13. With car manufacturer Isuzu as the naming rights sponsor for the next three years, the Queensland Open will be played from Aug. 22-25 at the Brookwater Golf and Country Club. The tournament will carry official world golf ranking points in addition to the A$110,000 ($115,800) prize purse (PGA Australia).